People think of infidelity differently from other social vices like marijuana addiction. They need to think of these two phenomena the same way since the behavior that takes place during an affair mimics exactly the behavior of a drug addict. A person who is addicted to sex or is practicing infidelity has been compared to a moth attracted to candle light. And infidelity has been referred to as “flame addiction.”
Infidelity can be defined as unfaithfulness in a relationship. It is a societal vice that has far reaching negative impacts on relationships and most painfully marriages. Infidelity is one of the major contributors to the tremendous numbers of divorce cases witnessed in the world today.
Another vice that goes hand in hand with infidelity is sex addiction. Sex addiction is in most cases the seed upon which infidelity sprouts. It is a compulsive behavior that completely takes control over the addicts life. The addict is willing to sacrifice what he/she cherishes most in order to preserve and continue his/her unhealthy behavior. They use sexuality to regulate their emotional life like relieving pain or anxiety.
Helping sex addicts and infidels requires first understanding the science of what happens in the brains of these people and seeking to find a way of controlling these biochemical processes towards the desired direction.
The brain will produce changes in neurochemicals that alter the feelings of normality at the beginning, a period of infatuation. Then there will be a surge of adrenaline which will take the love struck individual to unimaginable heights. After this serotonin will drop thereby leaving a feeling of emptiness and an obsessive preoccupation with the other person. As have always been known, dopamine is the lighter of the flame addiction (infidelity).
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a very crucial hormone as it is crucial for such effects as boldness, improved memory, attention, elation and a temporary desire to explore the world and take risks. During orgasm the levels of dopamine surge intensely and the person will be affected in similar manner to a person who has taken heroin. Dopamine is the hormone that causes addiction and once its levels have been fluctuated it will take up to a week to return to normal.
After dopamine surge has calmed down, prolactin is released and it works against the effects of dopamine causing such effects as depression, irritability and depletion.
If you have been blaming your lover for your post-sex and post-romance frustration, you need to know the chemistry causing it. It is advisable to have non-orgasmic sex as it helps avoid the dopamine peak and its side effects.
Dopamine may cause infidelity. when a couple has been married and nothing is kept new or fresh the dopamine levels will be low while when a person has been seeing an attractive person out of marriage and he/she seems unreachable the levels of dopamine will surge and so the pursuit begins.
Since time immemorial, mating and reproduction is an activity that was not for the faint hearted as an individual has to pursue the possible mate with efforts and even fights to win. This could not be possible without a reward system, so the reward center was placed in the brain dopamine and it heightens when the pursuit for mate is successfully finished, hence a motivation to the pursuer.
Something new in relationship will boost the dopamine level that is why a couple who has been married for a long time will spend some nights without sex but a man who has just had sex may have sex with other women as the level of dopamine will be rekindled with each new partner. Infidelity is fuelled when the partner is playing hard to get as it heightens dopamine level.
Dopamine and sex addiction
Sex is addictive. All human behaviors that are rewarding in nature are prone to be addictive and sex is just one of the many addictive human behaviors, once a person has tasted the waters it becomes very hard to quit. If you need to break the chains of sex craving you need to be principled and committed to the course as it’s not an easy task.
Addictions sometimes do overlap and replace each other. When a person falls short on the dopamine triggered by having sex, he will turn to another source like eating, to fill the vacuum. This explains why some people prefer smoking a cigarette after sex; they seek the dopamine heights from nicotine smoking to make up for the falling levels after sex.
Apart from dopamine here are other hormones that may cause happiness but it is the hormone that persistently asks you to repeat an act that induces pleasure even when it has adverse effects.
Dopamine is a vital hormone but the pleasure it offers is addictive but you will never be willing to face the truth as it will be very rewarding. You therefore need to mind the frequency at which you do some pleasurable activities as you may become addicted to them.
Understanding the process of flame addiction is crucial to healing—for both the victim and perpetrator. For any person who wants to quit philandering, it is essential to cut all the links between him/her and the mate with whom they had an affair.
Just like drug addictions quitting this behavior needs commitment, you may fail many times but you should not give up on your marriage. Feel open; seek help from leaders and people you respect.
Finally, Sex addiction is a serious menace, please call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Centre will give you the support you require and help you wrestle down this menace.